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'Hot Wheels' Director Search Nearing Finish Line (Exclusive)

Second-unit helmer Simon Crane and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo of "28 Weeks Later" are the two vying for the gig.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Hot Wheels is about to get into gear.

The Legendary project is based on the classic Mattel toy car line and has been seeking a director to put in the driver’s seat.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Simon Crane, the veteran second-unit director who is coming off of World War Z, and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, best known for directing 28 Weeks Later, are the front-runners for the high-octane gig.

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Art Marcum and Matt Holloway wrote the script for the project, which is intended to be more Mission: Impossible than Fast & Furious.

Legendary is hoping to get the movie revving in the first quarter of 2014. It is intended to be part of Legendary’s second wave of movies that counts Spectral, Godzilla and As Above So Below among them. (The first wave includes 42, Pacific Rim and Seventh Son.) And it is likely to end up at Universal, the company's new home starting in 2014, after its term deal with Warner Bros. expires. 

A decision on a director is expected to be made in the coming weeks after a series of presentations, according to a source.

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Crane is considered one the premiere second-unit directors in the business, with credits including Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Troy. He is also one of Hollywood’s top stunt coordinators. He has been attached to make his directorial debut on several projects, but none has reached the starting line.

Fresnadillo just came on board to direct Villain, a psychological thriller that has Shia LaBeouf attached to star. The project is in development at Start Motion Pictures.